New park named after Winnipeg’s own Clara Hughes

 

A new recreation park at the former site of the Elmwood’s Kelvin Community Centre might not be built yet, but it already has a name.

 

Mayor Sam Katz announced Saturday the $700,000 park will be named after Olympic speed skater and cyclist Clara Hughes.

 

“I’m honoured that the City of Winnipeg is naming this recreational space after me,” said Hughes, who grew up in Elmwood and was also inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night. “I believe that getting out and moving is important for both physical and mental health, so it’s exciting to think that young people will be skateboarding, playing basketball and hockey, and even tobogganing in a park bearing my name.”

 

The newly named park comes five years after the city shut down and demolished Kelvin Community Centre with a plan re-zoning the land and selling it as surplus.

 

Those plans changed after area residents including John King fought to have the land kept as recreational.

 

“It feels absolutely fantastic to have the site named after Clara—she is such a role model for everyone and is a very sincere, caring person,” he said in an email.

 

King now hopes to see a second phase of construction include the expansion of the site’s existing skate change rooms into a new community centre.

 

“We have come up with a concept drawing that would include a small gym, hall, and kitchen,” he explained. “The community is thrilled with the retro work that will be going on but would ultimately like to have this building to provide a place large enough for indoor activities and as a community meeting place.”

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